Our team based in Seattle conducted a comprehensive review including evolving trends in the management of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). This summary covers key decision points, including recommended work-up during initial diagnosis, treatment options for MCC when it’s in one place or has spread, management of recurrent MCC, and new treatments that are showing promise with fewer side effects and good results. This review gives valuable information on how to handle MCC overall and emphasizes new methods that are effective and less toxic on patients.
Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare, aggressive cutaneous tumor that combines the local recurrence rates of infiltrative nonmelanoma skin cancer with the regional and distant metastatic rates of thick melanoma. The NCCN Guidelines for Merkel Cell Carcinoma provide recommendations on the diagnosis and management of this aggressive disease based on clinical evidence and expert consensus. This version includes revisions regarding the use of PET/CT imaging and the addition of a new section on the principles of pathology to provide guidance on the analysis, interpretation, and reporting of pathology results.